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Medication for Learning Disabilities?
"Why are there medications to treat ADHD but none to treat learning disabilities?"
ADHD is caused by a deficiency of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine within the brain. The medications used to treat ADHD work by “telling” the brain to produce more norepinephrine, or to slow the rate at which it is broken down.
Learning disabilities, on the other hand, are the result of differences in the “wiring” within the brain. So far, we haven’t found a medication that will correct this problem.
Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.